A site in the heart of the city that was planned to be developed into a rose garden has turned into an illegal landfill dump, causing misery to residents of localities along the site.
Rampant corruption in the project with more than Rs 33 lakh of the Rs 48 lakh embezzled put paid to all hopes of the residents of getting a beautiful green structure in their midst.
Dumping of sewerage and solid waste at the site was banned months ago, still stagnant water is a big nuisance for residents.
Water overflows into houses of residents during rains. This is dangerous as the foundations of the neighbouring Government Elementary School are also weakened by the standing water.
In this school, besides teachers around 250 students till Class 8 have to option, but to bear the false smell.
In 2001, Mansa municipal council passed a resolution to construct the rose garden and funds of Rs 47.41 lakh under IDSMT (Integrated Development of Small and Medium Towns) scheme was disbursed to the Mansa municipal council for construction of a rose garden.
On the directions of Punjab and Haryana high court a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 13(1) d and 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 was registered on Feb 2, 2009, against 18 accused.
Deputy commissioner Mansa Amit Dhaka said, "No dumping of solid waste material or sewerage water is being done from last many months and the water is being drained out slowly with already installed two motors to new site near ramdittewala while soon the Sewerage Treatment Plant would start and the problem would be solved completely. Its also the matter to be looked that if the residents living nearby the site have occupied the land illegally. Soon we'll make this site empty and allow only rainwater to enter in it that would also help improvement in ground water."
"The rose garden that was built only on papers near Dera bhai gurdas which had been changed into a landfill site with stagnant water and unpleasant smell round the clock being nuisance for residents and a school behind. In mansa we the beggar voters don't have gardens but only we have different dumping sites. The police even failed to arrest those accused involved in embezzlement of funds meant for garden." Said, Mansa city resident Rahul Rupal.
"From the very beginning of India's freedom, dalits, labour class and the poor have been ignored and discriminated. In all the affected areas around the illegal landfill site there are around 4000 voters that does not seems illegal during elections. Where should the poor go? The administration should act precisely and save the residents and school children from being dying of diseases," said Chairman Jabar Zulam Virodhi Front and Dalit leader from Mansa Ram Krishan Singh.
Gurcharan Singh, resident of Beer nagar mohalla said, "The stagnant water enters into our houses for couple of days and we had to suffer a lot because of poor sewerage system here. Foul smell continues to please us. Many people in our locality are suffering from peculiar diseases. The groundwater is too bad in taste."
Churh Singh, local resident said, "The government should provide us better sewerage system first. Health checkup should be done in all the areas near this dumping site. The stagnant water here should be taken away as earlier possible and steps should be taken to improve the ground water health."
Mansa resident Advocate Navneet Khudania said, "It's the low lying area but this dumping site was chosen for rose garden as it lies in heart of the city. The passerby and commuters even face problem of foul smell. When one enters in mansa through train, this worst illegal site is the first picture that makes clear about the beauty of Mansa district. Where is development?"